I liked tactics, and I also like Tierkreis even though it was a really simple RPG fair. I was just listing the ones with numbers, nothing more than that. Tactics and Tierkreis would still be under the original Suikoden but above IV if I were to count them, so nothing much changes.
@Lard: I didn't mind them being paired up so much, sure it was annoying that I couldn't use my Shrike rune because the other member of the pair needed to cast Kindness Rain, but it's probably the only Suikoden where you can use a tank-Firefly character to best effect. The speed of battles was very annoying however. Normal monsters could have some ridiculously long spell animations that would take forever, and you could end up against 6 of the same enemy so you could be there a good 2 minutes even before you get to move.
Allies being damaged by area effect spells...makes sense but very annoying in reality. Considering you had basically NO control over where you characters moved to on the battle map(sometimes melee characters would do an entire lap around the screen to hit an enemy that was right next to them), you were probably going to do just as much damage to your own party, in the early game at least. Later in the game your allies dodge the magic most of the time, but by then you have access to the Pale Gate rune and the True Lightning Rune, which either do insta death or lots of damage to enemies only. Unite attacks are pretty much a gimmick, no real reason to use them (or much of a chance considering you usually have one or two compulsory characters in your party at all times).
I liked having unique Skills on characters, but this brings with it another problem. The way Suikoden's experience system works is you can level up new characters VERY fast by just fighting a couple battles in a high-level area. But when characters also need to have Skill Points to be effective, you are suddenly back in grindy-rpg territory.
But, even though I just wrote all that, all that bad stuff regarding the battle system was nothing compared to the good things the game has. The story was gripping, and being able to see events occur from three, four or even five perspectives was interesting in the way it changes the way you feel about events. Characterization was also a strong point, especially the female characters. Chris, Lucia, Sarah were three very different characters but all felt very real and honest. Despite that rant above, I still loved the gameplay too. The Rune system is just perfection and it's always a pleasure to play with.
So yeah, Suikoden III, still a great game despite some flaws.